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On Thursday, December 1st, Sony and Toei Animation premiered the first trailer for Tomasz Baginski’s live-action Knight of The Zodiac, starring Mackenyu as the protagonist, Seiya.

Mackenyu as Seiya

The film stars Mackenyu as Seiya, Sean Bean as Alman Kido, Famke Janssen as Guraad, Madison Iseman as Sienna & Nick Stahl as Cassius. According to the film’s IMDB page, the film is set to be a live-action remake of the 1986 anime adaptation.

Knight of The Zodiac Live Action Teaser Trailer

Knight of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya Origins

The film is based on the Saint Seiya Anime series, which is adapted from Masami Kurumada’s manga series of the same name. Saint Seiya was published in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from 1986 to 1990,and according to comipress.com, the manga series has sold well over 25 million copies in Japan as of 2007 and has over 50 million copies in circulation as of 2022, according to Animate Times.

The series was adapted into an anime series in 1986, three months before the first manga volume was published. The anime series was produced more quickly than the manga; therefore, Toei Animation created original stories to fill in the gaps between story arcs. These original stories were not featured in the original manga.

Kurumada’s Highly Influential Series

The Seiya series is considered to be one of the most highly influential anime of the 80s, inspiring other works such as Mobile Suit Gundam Wing and Mobile Fighter G Gundam. According to Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy in their published work, The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917, Saint Seiya also inspired Legend of Heavenly Sphere Shurato, Ronin Warriors, and Wild Knights Gulkeeva, all released between the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The series was highly influential that, according to an article by Mark McHarry; Matthew Thorn, a cultural anthropologist and an Associate Professor at the Department of Manga Production at Kyoto Seika University, stated that at the peak of the Seiya popularity, the yaoi genre was also making its way to the top at the same time. The Seiya boom, alongside Captain Tsubasa, largely contributed to popularizing the term “Yaoi” in the late 1980s.

The Saint Seiya Media Franchise

The Saint Seiya manga is composed of three sagas Sanctuary, Poseidon, and Hades. All three sagas were then divided into different story arcs. As previously stated, the original 1986 anime series featured original stories that were not featured in the manga and were only made specifically for the anime series.

The Seiya manga series spawned several spin-offs, including Saint Seiya Episode G by Kurumada, The Lost Canvas by Shiori Teshirogi, Saintia Shō by Chimaki Kuori, and most recently, Dark Wing by Kenji Saito and Shinshu Ueda.

The 1986 anime also spawned a few spin-offs which included three original video animations released from 2002 to 2008. A fifth film, Saint Seiya: Heaven Chapter – Overture was released in 2004, followed by Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary in 2014. Novels based on the series were also written between 1988 and 2002. Other media featured video games, musical productions and drama audio CDs. Netflix released an original net animation titled Knight of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya, which premiered in 2019.

The First Attempt at an American Adaptation

Sometime in the 1990s, an American adaptation/remake of the series was set to be produced by Renaissance-Atlantic Entertainment and retitled as Guardians of the Cosmos; apparently Guardians of the Galaxy was already taken. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the show was never aired and was eventually lost to time until Youtuber Ray Mona discovered the pilot in early December 2022.

With all this rich history, the only question in the mind of long-time Seiya fans is, will Hollywood get it right this time? Only time will tell. Film Director Tomasz Baginski is known for his work on The Witcher series, having worked on both the game and the 2019 TV series serving as exclusive producer. Lead star Mackenyu rose to fame with the Chihayafuru: Kami no Ku trilogy and is known in the anime community for portraying Enishi Yukishiro in the Rurouni Kenshin live-action film. Baginski’s Knight of the Zodiac is set to be released in 2023.

For more information and updates on the film, ahead on over to their official YouTube channel.

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